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If you are considering career opportunities abroad, you may know about the term “work visa”. In this article, you will explore “What is work visa?”, the types of work visas, and how to apply for a work visa in Vietnam.

What Is a Work Visa?

A work visa is a permit that allows you to work and live in another country other than your home country. To qualify for a work visa, you must meet several qualifying conditions, varying depending on the country where you wish to work.

How Many Types of Work Visas?

How Many Types of Work Visas?

There are two work visa types:

  • Temporary work visa. This work visa is valid only for a few years and foreigners must renew or return home when it expires, depending on the country. Some countries may allow you to transfer to a permanent work visa if you find a new job.
  • Permanent work visa. This work visa allows you to live in a foreign country indefinitely, and you can even apply for citizenship after a certain period.

In Vietnam, temporary work visa and permanent work visa are described below:

  • A temporary visa is a maximum duration of 3 months granted to foreign experts, managers, and technical workers entering Vietnam to work with businesses and organizations in Vietnam. These visas are denoted by the letters DN1 and DN2.
  • A permanent visa for foreigners working in Vietnam is a visa with a maximum duration of 1 year (12 months) applicable to foreigners with a work permit or certificate of not being eligible for a work permit. Working visas for foreigners in Vietnam are denoted by the letters LD1 and LD2.
  • LD1 is granted to foreigners with work permit exemption certificates who come to work in Vietnam unless otherwise provided for in international treaties to which Vietnam is a member.
  • LD2 is granted to foreigners who require a work permit to work in Vietnam.

This work visa in Vietnam is valid for two years and foreigners can extend it. However, if the work permit is valid for less than a year, the corresponding work visa has the same validity as the work permit.

See more: how long is a passport good for?

5 Steps To Apply for Vietnam Work Visa

5 Steps To Apply for Vietnam Work Visa

Applying for a Vietnam work visa requires the company where the foreigner works and the foreigner themselves to complete the five steps outlined below:

Step 1: The Vietnam-based company prepares the documents as work visa requirements.

The company based in Vietnam will act as a guarantor and must prepare the following documents to apply for a work visa for its foreign employee:

  • The company’s operation license of the company/office where the foreigner is working (this could be a business registration certificate, an investment license, or the operation license of a branch or representative office);
  • Certificate of seal specimen or Statement of Company Seal Use
  • Form NA16 – Registration form for the legal representative’s seal and signature of the enterprise operating in Vietnam;
  • Form NA5 – Visa application, visa extension, and stay extension for foreigners in Vietnam. 
  • 01 3*4cm photo
  • Work permit or certificate of exemption from work permit.
  • Copy of a valid passport card

Step 2: Submit the documents.

Step 2: Submit the documents.

The representative of the company for which the foreigner works will submit the documents mentioned above to the Vietnam Immigration Department or the Immigration Office under the Department of Public Security in the city or province where the entity’s head office is located.

After submitting all the requested documents and payment of the visa fee, the submitter will receive an appointment note. This note states the expected date for receiving the visa processing result.

A fax fee must be paid if the working visa is stamped at a Vietnam embassy/consulate in a foreign country.

Submission time: Monday to Friday and Saturday morning.

Step 3: Obtain a work visa letter for Vietnam.

On the appointed date, the company’s representative will go to the Immigration department/office to pick up the visa letter (if issued).

Step 4: Notify the foreign worker.

Following receipt of the letter, the entity must inform the foreigner via fax, email, or express courier for them to complete the visa process.

Step 5: Get the visa and pay the fee.

The foreigner will submit the following documents to the Vietnam embassy/consulate in their host country:

  • Form NA1 – Vietnamese Visa Application attached with 3x4cm photo 
  • Original valid passport 
  • Copy of the visa letter issued by the Immigration Department/Office of Vietnam

Then they will pay the fee to get the work permit visa stamped onto the passport.

Conditions for Extending Visa in Vietnam

Conditions for Extending Visa in Vietnam

Foreigners use visa extensions to extend their current stay in Vietnam without leaving the country. This action will result in an extension stamp on your passport indicating the length of your new stay.

To extend/review your Vietnam visa, you must have your original passport:

  • Be valid for at least 06 months from the time of extension/renewal.
  • There should be at least two blank pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a visa and a work visa?

A visa allows you to enter, transit, and leave the country, whereas a work visa allows you to seek and accept employment.

How much does a Vietnam work visa cost?

The cost of a work permit varies according to the length of time you plan to live and work in Vietnam and the type of visa you apply for. You can see Vietnam Visa Costs at What You Need to Know in 2022 for a complete price list.

What are the benefits of having a work visa?

Having foreign work visas or employment visas allows you to work legally in the country you reside. The benefits include:

  • The right to be fairly compensated by your employer following local law;
  • The right to keep your passport and other forms of identification in your possession;
  • The freedom to report abusive working conditions without fear of reprisal;
  • The ability to seek help from labor unions, labor rights organizations, and immigrant rights organizations;
  • The right to use the national judicial system to ensure that justice is served and your rights are protected.


Hopefully, this article has given you a clear understanding of “What is a work visa?” and provided helpful information to apply for a work visa in Vietnam.

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